Upgrading to Fedora 23 – It’s Easier Than Ever

So a few nights ago I updated my Thinkpad to Fedora 23.  It went pretty well.  I might still do a clean reinstall when I have some time, but that’s really only because I’m a little bit neurotic about clean installs…not because of performance.  I followed the instructions here, and they are pretty easy.

I’ll try to sum them up here, along with an explanation of the (few) problems I had.

Upgrade Process

As before any major upgrade, make sure your system is completely updated.

sudo dnf update --refresh

Make sure that things are operating normally at this point (and reboot your computer, in case you installed a new kernel), because troubleshooting them will be more complicated after the upgrade.  For instance, if a pre-upgrade update makes your computer have trouble waking from suspend, how will you know if it is because of the update, or the subsequent upgrade?  Maybe I’m just a little anal-retentive about this…but I like to make sure everything is working before I do a major upgrade.

Now you will need to install dnf’s upgrade tool, dnf-plugin-system-upgrade.

sudo dnf install dnf-plugin-system-upgrade

This plugin allows you to replace FedUp, which is Fedora’s old upgrade utility.  I found it to be easy to use.  I’ve only used it once (I plan on upgrading my main PC later this week or this weekend) but it went very smoothly for me.

Now we are going to use this plugin to install the updated packages.

This step doesn’t upgrade the computer immediately, but gets everything in place to run the upgrade which will happen when we reboot.

sudo dnf system-upgrade download --releasever=23

This will download the packages that are a part of Fedora 23.  You can also specify another release, such as 24 or rawhide, but those aren’t stable, so I’m not going to do those.  This will take a little while, depending on your internet connection.  It is essentially downloading Fedora 23 from scratch in preparation of the upgrade.

At this point we haven’t actually upgraded.  If we reboot right now, it won’t do anything…there is a specific reboot command that triggers the upgrade itself:

sudo dnf system-upgrade reboot

This will reboot the computer, and it will automatically begin the upgrade process at reboot.  It will take a few minutes to go through and update each individual package…but once it is done, you’re booting into Fedora 23.


I actually only had one problem with the upgrade…guake, the drop-down terminal I use occasionally, would crash at startup and not work.  I scratched my head and did some googling, but decided to put it aside for a few days.  Ran updates a few days later, and it just started working…so something that was updated fixed it.  I expect a lot more small problems to be fixed in the coming months.


I’m using Gnome desktop environment.  This is the default for Fedora.  This release features Gnome 3.18.  You can find some info about the new features here, and info about the general Fedora 23 new features here.